AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 7 7700X in the test: maximum design

After our Ryzen 9 7900X and Ryzen 5 7600X review, it’s finally time to look at the two remaining CPUs in AMD’s Ryzen 7000 family: the $449/£439 Ryzen 7 7700X, a potential gaming value champion, and the $799/£769 Ryzen 9 7950X, a sixteen-core titan expected to outperform almost any consumer CPU on content creation workloads. We’ve seen significant price drops on Ryzen 7000 processors since launch – so are these CPUs worth buying in 2023?

In short, these Zen 4 processors are fundamentally different from AMD’s last-gen Ryzen 5000 parts. There was a move to a new socket, AM5, with an LGA design capable of delivering up to 230W of power, as well as a new 6nm I/O die, integrated graphics on all models, and support for two key technologies: DDR5 and PCIe 5.0.

These upgrades have unlocked some impressive gen-on-gen gains in the case of the 7600X and 7900X, and there’s potential for even bigger improvements in the 7700X and 7950X. Since AMD uses a chiplet-based design with up to eight cores per CCD, the eight-core 7700X and sixteen-core 7950X should represent the maximum possible performance of single-CCD and dual-CCD designs, respectively – and reports back that in some nearby titles, the performance hit from splitting a gaming workload across multiple CCDs could offset the gains from accessing a higher thread count, keeping the 7700X of particular interest as a CPU.

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In the table below you can see how each design stacks up. With a reported 13 percent increase in instructions per cycle (IPC) and other internal improvements, such as an improved execution engine and branch predictor, we’d expect the significant increases in frequency and higher performance increases to translate into some serious performance run wins on all types of workloads, from gaming to content creation. That was certainly the case with the 7600X and 7900X – so how do the 7700X and 7950X fare?

CPU design thrust base L3 cache TDP RRP
Ryzen 9 7950X Zen4 16C/32T 5.7GHz 4.5GHz 64MB 170W $699/£739
Ryzen 9 7900X Zen4 12C/24T 5.6GHz 4.7GHz 64MB 170W $549/£579
Ryzen 7 7700X Zen4 8C/16T 5.4GHz 4.5GHz 32MB 105W $399/£419
Ryzen 5 7600X Zen4 6C/12T 5.3GHz 4.7GHz 32MB 105W $299/£319
Ryzen 9 5950X Zen3 16C/32T 4.9GHz 3.4GHz 64MB 105W $799/£750
Ryzen 9 5900X Zen3 12C/24T 4.8GHz 3.7GHz 64MB 105W $549/£509
Ryzen 7 5800X3D Zen3 8C/16T 4.5GHz 3.4GHz 96MB 105W $449/£429
Ryzen 7 5800X Zen3 8C/16T 4.7GHz 3.8GHz 32MB 105W $449/£419
Ryzen 5 5600X Zen3 6C/12T 4.6GHz 3.7GHz 32MB 65W $299/£279

To find out, we use the same testing system used in our previous Ryzen 7000 reviews – on ASRock X670E Taichi motherboard, G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 CL30 RAM (with Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR5-5200 for supplementary examinations) and The RTX 3090 Strix OC from Asus for the GPU side of things. The cooling was done with a 240mm Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora AiO, which fortunately is compatible with the new AM5 socket.

For storage we use three PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs for all our games – a 4TB Kingston KC3000a 1TB PNY XLR8 CS3140 and a 1TB Crucial P5 Plus. Our rig was completed with a 1000W Corsair RM1000x Power adapter.

Note that we’re using an older version of Windows 11 here, as the 22H2 update appears to have resulted in poorer performance for Ryzen 7000 processors. Combined with a BIOS update for our motherboard, this meant we had to re-test the 7600X and 7900X to ensure our results were still valid – and we noticed small changes in many games.

Elsewhere we have an Asus ROG Crosshair 8 Hero for Ryzen 5000 testing, an Asus ROG Maximus Z590 Hero for 11th Gen Intel testing, an Asus ROG Z690 Maximus Hero for 12th Gen testing, and a Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Master genetic testing used for 13th generation; All of these are high-end boards for their respective platforms. DDR4 motherboards used G.Skill 3600MT/s CL16 memory, the sweet spot for DDR4, while DDR5 motherboards, as mentioned earlier, used DDR5-6000 CL30.

Before we dive into the gaming benchmarks that make up pages two through five, let’s set the scene with some quick content creation benchmarks: a Cinebench R20 3D rendering and a Handbrake video transcoding.

As expected, the 7950X is the one to look out for when creating content, with record scores in the Handbrake h.264 and h.265 (HEVC) transcode tests – albeit by a relatively small margin to the Core i9 13900K, less than one percent in h.264 and about 10 percent in h.265. In the Cinebench test, a historic strength for AMD Ryzen designs, the 13900K retains the top spot at around five percent, but the 7950X is still significantly faster (~46 percent) than the 5950X, for an impressive gen-on-gen boost .

The 7700X also shows a clear evolution of the 5800X, AMD’s first eight-core design from the Zen 3 generation. Here, both the single and multi-threaded scores tested in Cinebench increase by a little less than 30 percent, which would make for a great boost in gaming performance. Handbrake performance is also stronger by a similar amount, although the last-gen 5950X still offers better performance overall due to its higher core and thread count – and this older CPU is now cheaper than the 7700X, making it a better choice for content creation than gaming.

CB R20 1T CB R20 MT HB h.264 HB HEVC HEVC power consumption
Ryzen 9 7950X 798 14837 105.15 fps 45.10 fps 368W
Ryzen 9 7900X 791 11324 79.38 fps 33.77 fps 288W
Ryzen 7 7700X 768 7894 56.69 fps 25.95 fps 266W
Ryzen 5 7600X 750 6063 44.35 fps 20.28 fps 236W
Ryzen 9 5950X 637 10165 70.28 fps 30.14 fps 237W
Ryzen 7 5800X3D 546 5746 42.71 fps 19.10 fps 221 w
Ryzen 7 5800X 596 6118 44.18 fps 19.50 fps 229W
Ryzen 5 5600X 601 4502 31.75 fps 14.43 fps 160W
Core i9 13900K 873 15570 104.67 fps 41.20 fps 473W
Core i5 13600K 767 9267 62.37 fps 26.44 fps 254W
Core i9 12900K 760 10416 70.82 fps 29.26 fps 373W
Core i7 12700K 729 8683 57.64 fps 25.67 fps 318W
Core i5 12600K 716 6598 44.27 fps 19.99 fps 223W
Core i5 12400F 652 4736 31.77 fps 14.70 fps 190W
Core i9 11900K 588 5902 41.01 fps 18.46 fps 321W
Core i5 11600K 541 4086 29.00 fps 13.12 fps 250W

The performance data are also worth a look here. We’re just wall testing and have different motherboards and RAM in play, but you can still see that there’s a trend towards higher wattages in the newer CPUs, with the last gen 5950X and current gen 7600X pulling around the same performance ( ~236W) – while the 7950X jumps to 368W. That’s still significantly less than the 13900K that peaked at 473W during HEVC encoding while delivering a slightly poorer score. So the new AM5 socket is certainly capable of delivering more performance, but in broad terms AMD’s Zen 4 design still appears to be more power efficient than the closest Intel equivalent. That should make cooling a little less of a concern and is definitely a relief at a time when GPU wattage is increasing rapidly even on flagship cards.

Now let’s move on to the fun stuff – the games. We’ve tested a number of titles, so select your favorites from the links below, or just click the Next Page button to continue the journey.

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 7 7700X analysis AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Ryzen 7 7700X in the test: maximum design

Fry Electronics Team

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